Trial Court Is Expected to Follow the Directions Issued in Operative Part of Order by High Court: Bombay HC

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The Bombay High Court stated that the Trial Court has committed a serious breach in not following the orders given by the High Court. According to the Court, the Trial Court has no authority to question the order of the High Court.

Facts of the case

The applicant was charged for offences punishable under Section 302, 307, 307, 494, 498 (A), 504, 511 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 on the basis of an FIR that was filed by the deceased. The deceased Sheetal Banpatte was married to Sachin Banpatte.

The deceased later came to know that her husband was having an extramarital affair with the applicant and that they had got married. The deceased went to the applicant’s house and poured kerosene over herself.

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She was also carrying a matchbox. She picked up a quarrel with the applicant. During a scuffle between her and the applicant, the deceased lit a match stick causing the fire. She suffered burn injuries and she lodged an FIR after she was admitted to the hospital.

The applicant filed for bail. By stating that “sufficient doubt is created against the prosecution case,” an order was passed by the High Court to release her on bail after furnishing a PR bond. However, the Trial Court had refused to accept the cash bail and had also not released the applicant.

Arguments before the Court

In the initial bail application, it was submitted by the counsel appearing for the applicant that the FIR states that the deceased herself had poured kerosene on her and that she was carrying a matchbox. It was stated by the Counsel that, “her (deceased) intention to implicate the applicant is a false case is more than clear.” It was submitted that the applicant has a son who is 10 months old, who is with her in jail. The Counsel submitted that the applicant deserved bail and the evidence against her was weak and there were also no eyewitnesses. The Court had granted her bail on the basis of these submissions.

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However, the applicant was not released on bail by the Trial Court and it was contended that the reason for not releasing the applicant, was that Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, which was one of the charges against the applicant was not mentioned in the first paragraph of the order passed by the Bombay High Court.

Observations of Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court stated that it was a “serious breach” of the order passed by the Court. According to the Court, there was no ambiguity in the operative part of the order, and unnecessary hurdles were created in giving effect to the order. The Court observed that “the applicants valuable right of getting released on bail; her liberty is affected in spite of clear directions of the Court.” Additionally, the Court stated that the applicant had suffered in jail along with her 10 months old baby.

Decision of Bombay HC

The Court held that “the Trial Court was expected to follow the clear directions issued in the operative part of the order.” The Court added Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 in the first paragraph of the order and directed the Trial Court to explain its stand and submit a report to the Court.

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